The area, used by hundreds of families, is the latest site to suffer lockdown vandalism mounting to tens of thousands of pounds to owners Ribble Valley Borough Council.
Council workers discovered the vandalism, including the complete removal of one piece of equipment, on Monday morning.
And now the hunt is on to find the culprits, who are facing the full force of the law and a hefty bill.
Police investigations are continuing into the incident and witnesses who may have seen or heard anything are asked to come forward. Meanwhile, council workers are carefully sifting through CCTV footage of the stricken site for evidence.
Coun. Ricky Newmark, chairman of Ribble Valley Borough Council’s community committee, said: “Our play areas remained open during the second lockdown, providing a vital leisure and recreation facility for families. I know this play area has been much appreciated during the pandemic and it is astonishing that anyone would vandalise it.
“The thoughtless vandals responsible for this have spoilt the fun of children and landed council taxpayers with a huge bill. We are determined to recover our repair costs and are asking anyone with information to step forward.
“Someone must have seen or know something, so please do the right thing and speak up.”
The incident is the latest in a string of costly vandalism in Ribble Valley, including graffiti at the castle keep and the wrecking of the barrier to a disabled car park at Edisford River twice in six months.
A spokesman for Ribble Valley Police said: "The Castle grounds remain one of our regular patrol spots and we do engage with the public in there regularly. We will continue to spend as much time in the grounds as other demand allows. People can report concerns via 101, the Lancashire Constabulary website or directly to the neighbourhood team on [email protected]"
Anyone with information about the Clitheroe Castle play area damage s asked to call the police in confidence on 101.